After reading three articles on why people can’t write, this blogger felt that they were only partially correct. While it is true that some people take for granted that everyone understood the latest technology craze, that they understand the trade language that came with it. Using any kind of jargon confused those that were not in the trending jobs or latest computer language. There’s more to this story, though. The second article stated that the problem with not being able to write is the fault of the teachers and the school system. This was only partially correct also. Indulge me, please. There is a reason behind this blog post.
When writing most of my papers in school, it was implied, not stated that we were to write as if the teacher did not know about the topics they gave on the board. My hobby is writing, just like computers are my brother’s hobby. For instance, my uncle still doesn’t understand computer language. In his letters to me, he told me this. In the beginning, my knowledge of computer jargon was limited to the ten days spent with my brother and my niece in 1998. After three desktops and two laptops, one learns a whole lot about computers. Don’t laugh, before retiring my HP Pavilion 735n and my Gateway laptop, I kept a folder of possible mishaps that occurred on those computers and the ones before them. With Windows 10, the folder isn’t needed. At any rate, the older computers had a language all their own.
As a writer, cliches were a lot like computer jargon or chat lingo. It’s been used so often, that it became trite or overdone. While a lot of my college professors frowned on this, finding a cliché or any type of trending jargon didn’t mean one should have a conniption fit. For me, the misspelled word, uncapitalized letter or subject-verb disagreement is a sure sign help is warranted. The second article made a good point that the school system is lacking with not only core curricula but common life skills. One had to know how to write a resume and cover letter. A lot of writing companies want writing samples. It is always best to put your best foot forward checking everything for the minor mistakes.
One of the biggest complaints heard from my college professors, is 2/3 of the class did not know how to write. One of my college history professors admitted that he didn’t focus on grammar, punctuation and spelling with the weekly tests. The use of the essay question tested the student on a few things:
- Their ability to think and analyze what they learned
- Organize their thoughts into a well thought out argument
- Their ability to follow instructions.
- Whether the students actually read the tested material
It was hard enough writing a term paper in high school using Chicago Style as a citation source. Remember Ibid and et al? Thankfully, every one of the teachers in my college major and one of my minors, still used this old format. The English department decided MLA Style was their citation choice. It took getting used to. At least nothing changed much with the newspaper, even those that went digital, except the AP Style Guide.
One of my junior high teachers said no one would pass her English class if they couldn’t write a coherent sentence. The problem is millennials and some before them, spoke like they wrote, using chat lingo in their emails. Back when I grew up, my family spoke proper English, not Ebonics. When the school systems across the country allowed this, I found it to be a cop out. My brother had a fit when he heard me attempting to speak this way as a child, but allowed his eldest daughter to speak it outside their home.
Another problem is, most of the core courses in high school were taught by athletic personnel. This blogger refuses to use the ‘dumb jock’ stereotype, because they knew when something was off in written form on a test essay question. I should know. My test papers always had its share of minus ones on it in high school freshman history.
My freshman English teacher had to return to school in order to teach students how to write. Until that time, the focus was literature, not learning the parts of speech. A friend of mine that became an art teacher recognized that her students were missing that crucial life skill of writing sentences with proper subject-verb agreement.
As of February 20 of this year, a lot of schools around the country started reteaching cursive writing. Most American classrooms stopped teaching this skill in favor of test preparedness under the Common Core curricula. It amazed me that more than half the children in the New York area couldn’t even write their names. This blogger remembers when the argument was over what method to use because everyone had their favorite style.
Either way, it’s a life skill everyone should learn. It is crucial to writing.